Global Tax Enforcement

Global Tax Enforcement

Commentary on Tax Enforcement, News and Developments

Category Archives: Tax Controversy

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American Pleads Guilty to Hiding Money in Swiss Bank, Moving Money to Israeli Bank after UBS Scandal

Posted in Offshore, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Controversy
On August 19, 2014, Bernard Kramer pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing a false income tax return relating to his concealment of “at least $1.1 million” in bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel. The criminal information did not identify the banks.  For 23 … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Rules 23-Day Notice Requirement for Third Party Summonses is Mandatory in Tenth Circuit

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Uncategorized
In Jewell v. U.S., Taxpayer Sam Jewell was the subject of an IRS investigation which resulted in third party summonses being issued to banks located in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.  Mr. Jewell challenged both summonses because the IRS failed to provide him with notice of the summonses at least 23 days … Continue Reading

NPR Cites BakerHostetler Analysis of Tea Party Class Action Claims v. IRS

Posted in Tax Controversy
In an article discussing social media and the law, NPR refers to a recent Law360 Article written by Jennifer Benda and Casie Collignon of BakerHostetler discussing Tea Party Group’s lawsuit against the IRS, claiming that the IRS committed Privacy Act and constitutional rights violations by unfairly delaying and scrutinizing their and similar organizations’ filing for tax-exempt … Continue Reading

IRS Collecting More Revenue, Prosecuting More Criminal Cases

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Uncategorized
The IRS has released Fiscal Year 2013 Enforcement statistics.  In FY 2013, IRS Enforcement collected more revenue than FY 2012, with fewer employees and while examining fewer returns than in FY 2012.  Collection activities, such as levies, liens and seizures all dropped significantly.  However, criminal investigations and prosecutions have risen. The IRS statistics can be … Continue Reading

Who will be home at the IRS if there is a Government Shutdown?

Posted in Tax Controversy
Treasury released its contingency plan to address a pending government shutdown.  So, who will be home at the IRS?  Here is what we know: IRS will: continue automated collections activities continue processing tax payment remittances continue taking actions to protect statutes of limitations, liens and seizures continue criminal examinations and undercover operations process electronic tax … Continue Reading

Tax Court Rules that IRS Too Aggressive in Applying Qualified Appraisal and Qualified Appraiser Standards

Posted in Tax Controversy
In Friedberg v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo 2011-238, the Tax Court granted summary judgment for the IRS, holding that an appraisal used to substantiate a facade easement donation amount was not a qualified appraisal because it determined that the appraiser, although purporting to employ comparable sales method for easement’s post-donation valuation, didn’t actually use that or … Continue Reading

Taxpayer Advocate Continues to Criticize Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

Posted in FATCA, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, Voluntary Disclosure
In an update to her December 2012 report, the Taxpayer Advocate has noted that the IRS still has not provided reasonable options for “benign actors”, or taxpayers who inadvertently violated the rules for reporting foreign accounts.  The Taxpayer Advocate noted that the IRS revocation of pre-clearance letters had damaged IRS credibility and might lead to … Continue Reading

The 2012 FBAR Filing Deadline is June 30, 2013

Posted in Tax Controversy, Voluntary Disclosure
U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2012 must file Treasury Department Form TD F 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) with the Treasury Department by June 30, 2013.  The form must be received by the Treasury Department on or before June 30, 2013.  This year, June 30 … Continue Reading

IRS and DOJ Losing Patience with Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The assistant US attorney general for the Tax Division, Kathryn Keneally, recently indicated that the window for avoiding criminal prosecution related to undeclared foreign accounts may be closing soon.  At a roundtable discussion at the University of Southern California’s annual tax institute, Ms. Keneally indicated that waiting to disclose offshore accounts is extremely dangerous.  If … Continue Reading

GAO recommends IRS Step Up Enforcement Measures for Dentists, Doctors and Other Medical Services Providers Who Receive Medicaid Funds

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud
In a report issued July 27, 2012, the GAO recommended that the IRS “explore opportunities to enhance collection of unpaid taxes from Medicaid providers, including the use of continuous levies.”  The GAO reviewed Medicaid reimbursement information from the three states which received the most Medicaid funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment  Act of 2009.  … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Updated Guidance for 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Posted in FATCA, HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
On June 26, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released new FAQ’s on the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) . The IRS opened the current OVDP on January 9, 2012, but, other than announcing the new FBAR penalty of 27.5%, had not issued updated guidance, leaving practitioners and taxpayers to rely on the 2011 … Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Releases Joint Statements with Switzerland and Japan Announcing Intent to Cooperate on FATCA Enforcement

Posted in FATCA, Tax Controversy
The U.S. Treasury released joint statements with Switzerland and Japan announcing their “mutual intent to pursue a framework for intergovernmental cooperation to facilitate the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).”  The Treasury has already released similar joint statements with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Treasury pointed out that … Continue Reading

IRS Clarifies Form 8938 Reporting

Posted in Tax Controversy
The IRS has added nine new questions and answers addressing the filing requirements for Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets.  These new Q&A address a variety of issues including whether tangible assets such as art, antiques, jewelry, cars and other collectibles held in a foreign country must be reported on Form 8938 (Q&A 19) … Continue Reading

Colorado Court of Appeals Releases Significant Decision Affecting Colorado Conservation Easement Litigation

Posted in Tax Controversy
On March 15, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its much anticipated decision in Kowalchik v. Brohl.  The Court determined that transferees who purchased conservation easement credits from donors of conservation easements were not required to be joined in the conservation easement litigation that has been brought pursuant to House Bill 1300.  This issue was … Continue Reading

New Foreign Asset Reporting Requirements for 2011 Returns

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud
The HIRE Act of 2010 enacted Section 6038D which requires single taxpayers to report ownership of specified foreign financial assets which in aggregate exceed $50,000 on new Form 8938, which is filed with an individual’s Form 1040.  Various dollar thresholds apply to individuals who do not file single taxpayer returns.  Individuals required to file Form … Continue Reading

Careful Attention to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Cases

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Baker Hostetler’s lawyers have handled hundreds of voluntary disclosures through the 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs (OVDI).  Recently, the IRS has announced a third OVDI, this time with no defined termination date. The OVDI programs provide important protections for those who might face criminal prosecution for unreported income or unfiled informational returns.  The … Continue Reading

IRS Grants Additional Time To File FBARs

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Today, the IRS announced an extension until November 1, 2011 for taxpayers who did not file TD F 90-22.1 (FBARs) forms in prior years.  For those taxpayers who only had signatory authority over a foreign account and did not own the account in 2009 or prior years, additional time has been granted to gather the necessary information … Continue Reading

Colorado Enacts Tax Amnesty Program

Posted in Tax Controversy
Colorado’s recently enacted Taxpayer Amnesty program is provides a one-time opportunity for non-compliant taxpayers to file overdue returns and become compliant.  The program covers many types of tax and provides for a waiver of penalties and one-half of the interest due.  Non-compliant taxpayers can quickly and easily fix any lingering issues involving Colorado tax liabilities. … Continue Reading

IRS May Pursue Gift Tax from Donors to Some Politically Active Organizations

Posted in Tax Controversy
Organizations formed to support particular political candidates often achieve favorable tax status as political action committees (“PACs”) and those formed to focus on particular causes can be formed as charitable organizations.  Both are exempt from most income taxes and contributions to each are specifically exempt or deductible with respect to the federal gift tax. Recently, … Continue Reading

U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad – Reduced Penalties To Come Clean

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, UBS
In a bid to encourage U.S. taxpayers living abroad to file U.S. tax returns and FBARs, the IRS has significantly reduced the civil penalties associated with the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.  On June 2, 2011, the IRS announced new rules applicable to U.S taxpayers who live outside the United States.  If qualified, taxpayers can file delinquent FBARs (Report of Foreign … Continue Reading

Charitable Contributions–Do you know where your 170(f)(8) letter is ?

Posted in Tax Controversy
In order to be entitled to a deduction, for a charitable contribution of $250 or more, section 170(f)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code requires a taxpayer to have a Contemporaneous Written Acknowledgement (“170(f)(8) letter”) from the donee organization which includes the following: The amount of cash and a description of the property contributed; Whether the donee organization … Continue Reading